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A GLANCE AT New-YORK. – The 'Glance at New-York,' after the manner of The Great Metropolis,' recently issued by A. GREENE, Beekman-street, is a clever work, in our poor opinion, and deserving of less cavalier treatment than it has received at the hands of certain of its critics. It discusses, currente culamo, and very agreeably, the city government, theatres, hotels, churches, mobs, monopolies, learned professions, newspapers, rogues, dandies, fires and firemen, water and other liquids, etc. There are a few errors, and one in relation to this Magazine; but the volume is both useful and amusing, nevertheless, especially to strangers in, or distant from, the city.
Irving's Works. — The seventh and eighth volumes of the uniform edition of WashINGTON IRVING's works have just been issued by Messrs. Cabey, LEA AND BLANCHARD. They contain the “Tales of a Traveller,' many of which have added so much to the completeness of their author's reputation. We are glad to see, by the demand for the series of which these volumes form a part, that their sterling worth is not likely to be supplanted in the affections of the American people, by the numerous' new-born gauds' of the present day.
MATHEMATICAL AND Physical Geography,' is the title of a clearly-printed volume, of three hundred pages, from the press of Messrs. PACKARD AND BROWN, Hartford, Conn. It is intended for academies and schools, but is as well adapted for the use of all general readers. It proceeds from the pen of Dr. J. L. COMSTOCK, with whose productions for the young we have a favorable acquaintance; and a cursory examination of the volume enables us to predict for it a success as ample as that which has rewarded the merits of of its predecessors.
"Three EXPERIMENTS IN DRINKING. — There is a good moral to this little pamphletbook; but like all the 'experiments' which have succeeded the 'Three Experiments of Living,' it lacks the force, spirit, and vraisemblance, of its excellent archetype. We fear all imitations will soon become disrelishing, should the ample reward of merit in the first instance induce many more writers, in these pressing times, to attempt the "expe• riment of sucking sustenance through their goose quills.
Boston MERCANTILE AssociATION. – A pamphlet has been sent us, containing an Address by Isaac C. Pray, Jun., a Poem by Lovet Stimson, Jun., together with the Remarks of Hon. STEPHEN FAIRBANKs, and his Excellency, EDWARD EVERETT, at the seventeenth anniversary of the above named institution. The entire exercises are in the right spirit, and demand a more extended notice than the only one we can here afford them -- a mere record of their publication.
TALES AND SKETCHES, BY 'Boz' AND OTHERS. – Messrs. CAREY, LEA AND BLANCHARD have issued, in two volumes, a number of popular tales, sketches, and verse, from late English magazines, the best of which are 'Oliver Twist' - a fragment only of a story, however- and Public Life of Mr. Tulrumble,' by `Boz,' 'Handy Andy,' and 'Who Milked my Cow ? or the Marine Ghost.' The volumes possess a good variety of light entertainment, and would be found capital steam-boat reading.
Classical Family LieRaRY. — The two latest volumes of HARPER's Classical Family Library, contain Juvenal, translated by Dr. Badham, Persius, by the Rt. Hon. Sir W. DRUMMOND, Pindar, by the Rev. C. A. WHEELWRIGHT, and Anacreon, by THOMAS BOURNE. The volumes are embellished with busts of Pindar and Juvenal, and are well executed.
THE FINE ARTS, ETC. — Notices of the National Academy of Design, just opened, and the late highly interesting semi-centennial anniversary of Columbia College, are crowded from the present number. Correspondents are not forgotten ; and when the 'moving accidents' of the May-day season have ceased to vex, and the toils of the month are for a brief space, ended peradventure their favors shall be considered and acknow. ledged.
RECENT FRENCH PUBLICATIONS. We are indebted to the attention of an obliging friend, for the following condensed report of recent French publications, of interest or value:
A fresh series of that curious Collection of Trials, the Causes Célèbres, is begun, in Paris. It will form 4 vols. 8vo.
Madame Guizot, (the wife of the minister and historian,) is publishing two works of fiction – Eudorie, ou l'Orgueil Permis, 1 vol. 18mo., with plates; and Une Famille, 2 vols., 12mo. The latter has a sequel, by Madame Tastu.
Mons. Paulin Paris is publishing an account of the French mss. in the Bibliothèque du Roi, under the title of · Les Manuscrits Français de la Bibliothèque du Roi; leur histoire, et celle des textes Allemand, Anglais, Hollandais, Italien, Espagnol, de la même collection.'
The Mystery of the Man in the Iron Mask is, it seems, still unresolved, in spite of the lately alleged discovery of historical documents clearing up the whole matter. Paul Jacob, (who takes the addition of Le Bibliophile,) has collected a fresh set of proofs, first to prove who the mask was not ; and, secondly, to show that he was (as was the opinion of Louis XVIII.,) a brother of Louis le Grand, (XIV.) In truth, we have been so often convinced, by the discoveries as to Iron Mask and Junius, that we are rapidly coming, against any fresh proof, however strong, to believe that neither of these personages ever existed at all — that they are mythological beings only, like Jupiter or Thoth, (whom some call Trismegistus,) or Homer, whom the Germans have so completely ex. ploded.
Mr. Cooper's Excursions in Switzerland, have been translated into French, under the title of 'Excursions d'une Famille Américaine en Suisse.
Lacroix has published a novel under a very ill-omened title — Une Première Ride' – a first wrinkle, not a first ride. The latter would have been a far more romantic subject.
M. de Puybusque is editing a fresh body of facts, as to the disasters of Buonaparte's Russian Expedition. It is drawn from the interesting papers of the Field Marshal the Marquis de Serang; and is entitled, 'Les Prisonniers Français en Russie; ou Memoirs et Souvenirs de Serang: 2 vols. 8vo. We presume it will give fresh interest to De Segur's book, which is the best upon this matter.
Quatremère de Quincy's interesting researches on the Spoliation of the Athenian and Roman Monuments of Art is going through a new edition.
Nestor l'Hote, a member of the expedition of Champollion to Egypt and Nubia, has published a history of the Egyptian Obelisks, with an explanation of their historical inscriptions. 8vo.
Raspail, the botanist, has published 'A New System of Vegetable Physiology and Botany,' 2 vols. 8vo., accompanied with an Atlas of sixty plates.
We have seen, but not examined, a work, seemingly of much importance, by Duchatelet, entitled 'De la Prostitution dans la Ville de Paris, Considérée sous le Rapport de l'Hygiène Publique, de la Morale et de l'Administration. It is founded upon very careful researches into statistical documents afforded by the records of the Police, now first explored, for such a purpose. We refer to the work, in spite of the nature of its subject, because it is an important one, as to investigations that may lead to useful, beneficent, and even moral results. In view of such, the press must not be too delicate.
They are publishing, in Paris, a beautiful edition of St. Pierre's 'Paul and Virginia,' and his 'Hindoo Cottage.' It is edited by Curmer, with a Life by Sainte-Beuve, and notes by various hands. Beside a great number of engraved illustrations, it offers a complete Flora of the Isle of France and of India, executed by a skilful naturalist, M. Descourtils. There will be thirty numbers in 8vo. at 1+ francs each.
Alexander Dumas is about to issue a new romance, under the title of 'Pascal Bruno.' The third and fourth volumes of his 'Impressions de Voyages,' are also out.
Rosseeuw Saint-Hilaire is beginning to publish a history of Spain, from the Gothic invasion to the present century. It will form six or seven vols. 8vo. The first volume will treat of the history of Gothic Spain: the second, that of Castile : the third, that of Arragon, Navarre and Biscay : the fourth, Spain under the Moors, etc. The Introduction will sketch the early state of Spain, the Phænician, Carthaginian and Roman conquests, and the Gothic Institutions and Code. The author is said to bring to his work very important and laborious researches into the little-explored libraries of Spain, as well as those of Germany.
Among the novelties of imagination, we remark 'Occiput and Sinciput,' a phrenological romance, by Ernest Dutouquet, 2 vols. 8vo. We fear it will eclipse the scientific fictions of Miss Martineau. There is also a new novel by Paul de Kock, called 'Zizine.'
Bayle Mouillard's Essays on ‘Imprisonment for Debt,' a work crowned by the Institute in 1835, is lately published.
Mons. Marcos is giving some curious researches as to the barbarian subversions of the Roman Empire, under the title of ' A History of the Vandals; with Researches on the Commerce of the Barbary States, in the Earlier Part of the Christian Era.' 8vo.
Dulaure is about to give, in 8 vols. 8vo., with fifty engravings and numerous additions, the sixth edition of his admirable and curious history of Paris: a work of the highest merit and interest, built up from a very modest beginning, by repeated editions, and renewed researches.
The Monuments of Egypt and Nubia, as collected by Champollion, with his descriptions, are in progress of publication, under the patronage of the French Government. They are to form four large folio volumes of plates (chiefly colored) 400 in number; and two volumes of text, in 4to : costing, in all, 500 francs.
We see that Miss Sedgwick's novel of the "The Linwoods' has been translated into French, under the title of 'La Famille Américaine.'
La Sæur de la Charité' is the title of a new poem, by Lamartine.
The following, by Henry Ternaux, may offer something important to this country: • Voyages, Relations et Mémoires Originaux, pour Servir á l'Histoire de la Découverte de l'Amérique:' 3 vols. 8vo. Also, a Bibliothéque Américaine;' an account of works relating to America. 8vo.
We are glad to see announced "A Dictionary of Cookery and of Household Economy,' by Mons. Burnet, ex-officer of the Mouth : 8vo., with plates.
Geoffrey Saint-Hilaire has published iwo volumes of a sort of general history of Monstrosities, under the title of 'Histoire Général des Anomalies de l'Organization chez l'Homine et chez les Animaux.'
Paul de Julvecourt is giving, under title of 'Balalayra,' a translation of the popular poetry of the Russians. 8vo.
De Martonne has edited, from the Unique mss. in the King's Library, the Romances of Parise la Ducharre. 12mo.
Vidocq, the ex-rogue, has produced a new book, in illustration of his ancient occupations. He calls it ‘Les Voleurs : Physiologie de leurs Meurs et le leurs Language.' 2 vols. 8vo. If he means to set up for an honest man, he should take to some honester trade than that of book-maker.
The seventh volume of the new octavo edition of St. Chrysostom's whole works (with Latin version) has appeared. Six more are to come. Also, a supplement to those of St. Augustin, containing inedited sermons. Folio.
"Studies on the Theatrical Art,' by the widow of Talma, are forthcoming : said to be remarkable. Villeneuve, the editor, gives a life of the authoress, and many curious particulars of the greatest of tragedians. 8vo.
Raynouard has given a second volume of the new series of his Selection of Troubadour Poetry. It is the first part of a Dictionary of the Provengal.
ELECTRO - MAGNETISM. It was the illustrious KEPLER, if we recollect rightly, who, half piqued at finding that one of his attempts to explain the motions of some planet had been labor lost, compared Dame Nature to the coquette Galatea, in one of Virgil's Eclogues. The nearer she is approached, the more wayward, capricious, and provoking, are her escapades :
'Fugit ad salices et se cupit ante videri.' If this be true of astronomical science, it is a truth a thousand times more frequently enforced upon the votary of that class of physical sciences, of which electricity and galvanism form so prominent and interesting a field, both for study and discovery. The very subject-matter of his researches is more like the idea of a 'spiritual essence' than actual bonâ fidê material entity. It is a kind of invisi. ble tertium quid, which baffles all human tests of materiality. Grant, as some philosophers will have it, that it is merely a property of matter,' and that it has none of the ordinary characteristics of material substances — yet the difficulty is but increased. If we find it so impossible to believe that matter could travel through matter, with the mysterious velocity with which electricity is impelled; if we cannot conceive of matter which is so subtile as to elude all our senses to penetrate the most solid substances, and to be known only by its effects when in motion, how can we conceive of a inere 'property of matter of which matter may be deprived in one part, while it is accumulated in another ? Of which, in fact, matter, organic or inorganic, is equally unconscious, until a change in its distribution is effected, that developes its latent energy? To call it a mere property of matter, then, like extension, does not seem either very correct in expression, or philosophical in principle.
And, on the other hand, to consider it as matter, as a distinct material substance, is so violent a blow at our almost innate ideas of all matter, that one is half tempted to reject the arguments of the philosophers, numerous as they are, which appear to establish its substantiality beyond a question, and to resort to the convenient nomenclature of the old school men, who would probably have christened it • the soul of matter' L'anima mundi' - or some such fanciful name. In fact, so much more subtile than light itself is this mysterious ens so much more diffusive than the invisible winds of heaven — so much more obscure in its nature, and wonderful in its effects, than any other known chemical agent — that we are in favor of every gentleman and lady's forming their own hypothesis, with respect to its
materiality or immateriality. And vile as the pun may seem — and in fact is - it is no matter whatever, in a scientific point of view, whether it be matter or not. Like the two rival theories of the nature of light, either serves to classify the phenomena; and sometimes they are best explained on one and sometimes the other supposition. Perhaps the idea that it is neither the one nor the other, but the grand connecting link between the material and the immaterial world, would be as convenient a hypothesis as either. Indeed, we beg leave to suggest to some 'ingenious young gentleman,' whether it would not be worth his while to maintain that theory, upon a fitting occasion, before a suitable audience, with a view to impress upon them with due force, that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in the philosophy of undevout astronomers and our other modern Sadducees. Although philosophers of all ages and nations have, for the most part, held that electricity was strictly material, we are at a loss to find any stronger arguments in favor of that doctrine, than are to be found in favor of the materiality of light. And Sir John Herschel and Sir David Brewster, “who ought to know,' both hold that light has no such distinct material existence, but that it is the result of certain vibrations or undulations of a subtile ethereal medium, universally present in nature, just as pulsations of air produce the sensation of sound upon the acoustic nerve. But startJing as this may appear, we do nevertheless en revanche propound it, to those and all other disciples of the undulatory theory, who maintain the immateriality of light upon this foundation. -How and where has it been proved, that sound itself may not be a material emanation, from the mere impact of particles of matter, as much as galvanism or electricity from their more energetic excitement ? One would have thought, that the prismatic decomposition of light alone was suffcient to establish the Newtonian theory of light, as a material emanation from luminous bodies. For how a vibration or undulation of an etbereal medium could be thus decomposed into distinct rays, possessing different and in some respects totally opposite properties, it is not very easy to conceive. Though we admit that it is difficult for us to comprehend how matter cau be divided into such inconceivably subtile particles, as the Newtonian theory of light supposes, yet we find it a much harder task to acknowledge that a mere undulation of a homogeneous, ethereal medium can produce such surprising chemical results as solar light is well known to be capable of affording.
Now, the nature of light is still enveloped in such profound obscurity — its subtile particles, if it be really material, do so elude all our feeble efforts to condense them — that it would be but an idle indulgence of the fancy to predict what the progress of scientific investigation may yet effect in that department of philosophy. Yet we wi}l, for once, venture the prophecy, that if any great advance is inade, by induetive research, toward a more perfect knowledge of the nature and material constitution of light, it will be by a diligent and accurate examination of its magnetic properties. The question is not yet solved, whether light really possesses magnetizing powers or not. Morichini, who first asserted it from actual experiment, was more fortunate in his process than subsequent observers, or he was mistaken in his results. If it should be hereafter satisfactorily es.